The Second Coming of Rick Perry's Manufactured Miracle

Categories: Politics

perry cover.jpg
Ever since his failed bid to be the Republican Party's nominee for President in 2012, Governor Rick Perry has been busy selling the rest of the country on Texas' economic policies, particularly as they relate to job creation. Perry's message to businesses across the country has been clear: Move your headquarters to Texas and we'll make it worth your while. (The general response from other states: "Fuck Texas.")

"Texas has cultivated a business climate that is second-to-none," his office likes to say, and he credits it to the state's numerous tax incentives, disdain for regulation and other pro-business policies. The state of Texas' economic policies are still being held up as a beacon of economic success across the country, particularly in states that are struggling to recover from the recession. In fact, that notion is more alive than ever, as Washington Monthly editor Philip Longman points out in a lengthy dissection this week:

... [W]ithin the last year or so, the Texas Miracle meme has nonetheless gained more promoters and attention in the wider culture. Time magazine, for example, recently ran the headline "Why Texas Is Our Future," arguing in a cover story "that Americans are seeking a cheaper cost of living and a less regulated climate in which to do business; Texas has those in spades." A new book written by a former correspondent for the Economist and respectfully reviewed by the New York Times is entitled Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas. Another new book, Texas Got It Right, contains a foreword by veteran mainstream media executive Walter Isaacson, currently CEO of the Aspen Institute, in which he proclaims that Texas's "can-do spirit and love of independent thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs is something that could help kick up our whole economy."

In other words, his pitch is, on the surface anyway, even more true in 2014 than it was in 2011. The economic outlook in Texas is remarkably bright, according to most markers. A study released in January by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found that the state was generating more high-income jobs than the rest of the country, and significantly so. In fact, more than half of the jobs created in Texas were in the middle-to-high earning brackets.

But just like during his presidential bid, when our own Jim Schutze dismantled Perry's "manufactured miracle," journalists like Longman are wading through the smoke and past the mirrors toward a more complicated truth.

According to Longman, Texas can boast plenty of pro-business practices, but these job gains have not been particularly beneficial for actual workers in the state. Even though Texas steeply outpaces the rest of the country in job creation, per-capita income increases and the potential for upward mobility have declined significantly compared to states with similar economic make-ups, like New York and Maryland.

Perry's job creation plans have also done very little to improve the quality of life for Texans. One in four Texans is still uninsured, the highest rate in the country. Perry and his Attorney General Greg Abbott have refused to implement the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, which could have both provided health insurance to 1 million Texans and saved the state billions of dollars. Instead, Perry's administration has chosen to spend millions suing the Obama administration in thus-far fruitless lawsuits regarding the constitutionality of "Obamacare."

The state also still leads the country in minimum-wage employees. Texas workers are also less likely to have a high school diploma than workers in economically comparable states, along with staggering teen pregnancy and dropout rates. And much of the recent job growth can be traced to the state's oil boom, whose toll on air and water quality is only starting to be felt.

In reality, Perry's "Texas Miracle" is still as much of a "Texas Mixed Bag" as it was in 2011, just in a slightly different way. There are plenty of jobs in Texas, but the not-so-hidden consequences remain.

My Voice Nation Help
127 comments
pcwag33
pcwag33

Since Perry took over, Texas has performed economically far better than most other states, and better than all others.  You want to knock something, someone, some place, much easier pickins to the North in any direction.  You want to knock Perry for being Perry, that says more about you than him.

ruddski
ruddski

Funniest comment in thread so far in that it makes no sense whatsoever. I asked the person who posted it (who shall remain nameless) just WTF he/she was talking about, but a non-answer is assured. Hence, I thought I'd highlight it here:

"Just listen to you chicken hawks. You're all ready to send someone else's kid to die out to die."

This, in a response to discussions of past wars. Now, that's funny.

As they say, it's always five o'clock somewhere!

ReHappyBoat
ReHappyBoat

These are some legitimate good economic news, but Texas pollution is already beginning to surpass West Virginia and California. Soon you'll be on the same level as dirty South Korea, dirty Iran, dirty Israel, dirty China, and the VERY dirty Alberta, Canada. (tar/oil sands)


You're about to go international! Is it worth it? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. That's up for you to decide.


...but enough of that, let me move on. If only you could spend more of your tax dollars in your own state instead of having to send it to Washington...from there it goes to build big new bridges nd big new police stations in Iraq...most of them ended up being blown up by extremists. Billions and billions of taxpayer dollars, the money YOU worked hard for, down the drain. You can hear the flushing sound. No wonder is country is in rapid decline.


We're also forced to send billions of dollars to another miserable place called Israel, a country which violates international human rights laws. Thankfully right-wing racists can't stop the population growth of Palestinians and other minorities. They're growing and growing in the West Bank, Gaza, and inside the borders of Israel. Did you know that YOUR money pays for all of this? Yes, your tax dollars pay for educational programs and new houses for Palestinians and Israelis. Now that probably sounds like a good thing to you, but one of the main problems is that so many of these foreign entities like Saudi Arabia already have their own money, and yet we're forced to send so much of our cash to these leaches. 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Maybe Governor Perry should go on an apology tour like the President does for the nation while overseas.  Or bash impoverished blue collar workers as bitter individuals who have turned to God, guns and immigrant bashing to make themselves feel better.  Perry needs to go the other way.  Show some leadership.  Diminish successful people by saying no one gets there on his own. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen”.  

See, this way Ms. McCarthy could write a puff piece instead of being put in the ridiculous position of having to hold her breath, turn green with envy, then torture normal America with a bunch of Yeah Buts regarding this miracle called Texas.

The most damning thing about Texas to a so-called Liberal is its existence.  It's mere existence refutes the Left's argument.

and Thank God for Texas.

America would be lost without it.

mcdallas
mcdallas

Well-researched and well written*.  Makes me think this writer won't be here long.  


*Except for the sentence that begins "In other words, his pitch is, on the surface anyway, even more true..."

ruddski
ruddski

It seems that if medium to high income folks move to Texas, then lower income people will follow to mow their lawns, do their wash, build their houses, flip their burgers and stuff like that.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

The short version of Mexican immigration is available. O'Rourke, "Holidays in Hell, Mexican Border Idyll."

About 1986 vintage. But, plus ça change, eh wot.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

You mean a politician cherry-picked the facts? I am scandalized.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 The state also still leads the country in minimum-wage employees. Texas workers are also less likely to have a high school diploma than workers in economically comparable states, along with staggering teen pregnancy and dropout rates.


That's right, don't these HS dropouts and min wage earners know that in an enlightened society, they are supposed to be unemployed and living on the dole?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@pcwag33

Texas has performed well economically - for really big businesses.  But for individuals and small businesses, it's been an economic disaster.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@pcwag33 True, but Li'l Ricky didn't have much to do with it.  Texas' economic expansion is more in spite of Li'l Ricky than due to Li'l Ricky.  He has done more to mess up Texas government, and Texas, than any four governors before him, including the ones during Reconstruction, and especially Preston Smith.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ruddski  Did you also find yourself funny when you said this:


"I fucking hate Old Jewish white men." ---Ruddski, 11.6.2013

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@ReHappyBoat Um, I think the drugs will work better if you use clean needles.

ruddski
ruddski

Muslims do a find job of limiting Muslim population all by themselves.

They don't need anyone's help.

ruddski
ruddski

@holman

It reminds me of the time under Bush when theUS enjoyed full employment. The "yeah buts" were thick as flies.

Same with the high stock market. The "yeah but" was " the rising market does not benefit people who do not own stock".

Remember, there's a dark cloud to every Republican dark cloud.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ruddski  Had a drill instructor once tell me the best troops come from Texas and Pennsylvania. 

but only once.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@everlastingphelps  

I would think for many companies that may want to locate in TX, the whole min-wage stat would be a feature for choosing Texas rather than a bug.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@everlastingphelps Who knows, maybe if they realize that the independence streak in Texas is a double edged sword, some of them will move to California to get their health insurance and education. 

ruddski
ruddski

@bvckvs

Maybe that economic disaster is specific to those for whom economic disaster is and has been a constant in their lives, regardless of geographic location. A quick Googling of your assertion indicates that you're, unsurprisingly, a bit off the mark:

--- Not only is Texas listed as one of the five friendliest states for small business, but Austin, Houston, and San Antonio are included among the top five cities.----

----"I would say, without question, Texas is the best large state in which to do business in general, and for small businesses, in particular," says Tom Castro. A managing director of New York-based IMB Development Corporation, Castro has owned businesses in both California and Texas over the past 25 years..".----

http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/22/smallbusiness/texas-small-business.fortune/

------ NerdWallet Taxes examined the top 20 biggest U.S. cities to find out how welcoming they are to small businesses.

.... Four of the top 10 cities are located in tax friendly Texas, while New York City and San Francisco do not make the cut.------

http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2013/top-10-best-cities-small-business/

-----With booming construction around the energy industry and a strong tech community, the Lone Star State has harnessed the two biggest drivers of job growth, according to TriNet’s SMBeat report.

The report, which analyzed small business employment in 2013, found that construction and technology were last year’s hottest growing sectors....----

http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/legal-hr/2014/01/08/survey-job-growth-is-bigger-in-texas/

ruddski
ruddski

@Myrna

Reminder time, again.

When I stump you by successfully challenging your (lack of) logic on any topic, you insist on re posting my old jokes, and then after you reach a level of copy/paste frenzy that begins to dominate the thread, you angrily accuse me of making "it all about" me.

Then I have to point out the obvious, and apologize to all for setting you off.

But enough about your odd patterns.

What the hell did you mean by accusing whomever of chickenhawkery? Whose sons were these chicken hawks going send to fight which wars of centuries or decades ago?

Can you actually answer that question?

ruddski
ruddski

@RTGolden

I was admiring the cadence, the flow, and the almost pitch-perfect propaganda predictability. Damn difficult to attain when under the influence.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ruddski  "They throw rocks at gays, and they detest American liberals, but since they are oppressed and discarded by wealthy Muslim neighbors, we should overlook all that and go after those damn jews." ---Ruddski, 11.6.2013

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ruddski  Bush left office with a 10% unemployment rate; the DOW at 7,000; his massive deficit; his Great Recession; and his two wars raging.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @holmantx  

Texas is a beacon of Hope for the rest of America.

Texas illuminates the path away from this French twilight we seem to be mired in.

Texas is a bright concept.

ruddski
ruddski

@holman

Heh.

Actually, the consensus I've seen highlights the scots-Irish southerners/Appalachians. Being of that demo, I can attest that they simply love to fight. For any reason, at any time.

One day, while discussing with my kid if Bush was going to invade, I said "No-one really wants war", to which he replied: "Bullshit, you gotta see what these guys from Pennsylvania and jersey are like, they fucking LOVE war"

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@TheCredibleHulk @everlastingphelps Nah, if a company has the capital to relocate, they probably aren't paying their employees minimum wage. 


However, the owner of the company would probably rather not deal with a 14% state income tax as is the case for top earners in California.  So to protect their personal income, they will move the whole company to Texas or Florida. 

pcwag33
pcwag33

@bvckvs @pcwag33@Myrna.Minkoff-KatzBe honest with yourself.  Hating somebody for their success, twisting and fabricating things about them, grasping at straws, etc., is a sign of delusion and mental instability.  But if there is any comfort, you have company, although dubious company.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@pcwag33 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
In truth, he did waste federal subsidies he received.  Several years ago, he received about $500M to upgrade the schools.  Instead, he took advantage of a loophole that allowed him to just throw it in with the general fund.
The next time that grant came around, it came with a string attached requiring him to promise it would be used for the intended purpose.  He refused, and so now Texas can't get that money anymore.

All he has to do is promise to act honorably - but he can't, because even he knows that he's simply NOT an honorable man.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@pcwag33  He balanced the state budget with it, which was not the intention of Stimulus funds paid for by taxpayers from the other 49 states.

ruddski
ruddski

@Myrna

What war, which chicken hawks?

ruddski
ruddski

@Myrna

Hey, where's your alter-ego dude, anyway? Time to make it all about me!

I wanted to tell both of you about my first summit, Mt Washington, at age 16. That mountain at the time had the highest winds ever recorded on Earth. It was early June, and at the summit, above tree line, we were hit with high winds, snow, and lightning! imagine that!

It took us almost two days to summit that bitch, and about four hours to run back down - we had run out of food and water, being inexperienced.

Ever hear of Tuckerman's Ravine? awesome skiing till August. Gotta hike though. All that snow from Mt Washington and Jefferson fills that ravine. Steep!

No country for old fucking Jewish white men, for sure! Or baby bums for that matter.

Next, the time I totaled my friends BMW 2002Tii.

ruddski
ruddski

@Myrna

Avoid looking at the average unemployment rate under Bush, and focus, as you are, on the years when dems took control of congress, and the housing bubble collapsed

Because, if you look at those numbers, you'll feel and look like a bit of a tool.

If you'd like, I can post those numbers for you, just let me know. :)

ruddski
ruddski

Yo no vivo en texas, y hay no hay mexicanos donde vivo.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  Shh!  You'll scare him even more.  His demographic is about to be eclipsed by people of Mexican descent.  And never mention that a lot of Jews live here or he'll bust an artery.

ruddski
ruddski

@Myrna

Where, in this venue, is anyone urging war, and with whom are they urging this war?

ruddski
ruddski

@Rtgolden1

" The liberal fantasy of a 'civilized warfare' is unattainable..."

Not true. We have a President, the "decider" who reviews and approves every drone attack. No longer do we as a nation risk lesser beings such as soldiers and such making such decisions.

And, as you know, there are no longer civilian deaths in these drone attacks, because it has been determined that anyone in the immediate vicinity of anyone targeted by The Decider is, in fact, a terrorist as well. Babies, livestock, birds flying by, all guilty due to their guilt.

When The Decider leaves office though, then The Decisions will be necessarily made by lesser beings, so peace and Nirvana are going to be somewhat short-lived. Great while it lasts though.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Just listen to you chicken hawks.  You're all ready to send someone else's kid to die out to die.  

losingmyreligion
losingmyreligion

@RTGolden1 @holmant One word response to the Civil War supposedly being the only one with the winning side suffering more casualties: Vietnam.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@holmantx @ruddskiWWI Allies' losses 5.4 million vs Central Powers' losses 4 million.  Victory in war is not about the raw number of casualties; it is one side's ability to absorb the casualties and keep on coming, mixed with the combatants' ability to embrace violence that lead to victory.


America has an amazing capacity to absorb casualties and keep on coming.  As a nation, we do not have the stomach to embrace the violence required to achieve victory.  This is why, since the end of WWII, we have gained little, and the world even less, from our military ventures.  The liberal fantasy of a 'civilized warfare' is unattainable (besides, nobody told the N. Koreans, N. Vietnamese, Lebanese, Ba'athist Iraqis or Afghans that war is supposed to be civilized).

ruddski
ruddski

@holman

Yeah, but just about anything scares the living shit out if them damnyankees.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ruddski  

It scared the living shit outa the Yankee.

ruddski
ruddski

@holman

There's a reason "Rebel Yell" has such a reputation.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ruddski  

The War Between The States (see: War of Northern Aggression) was the only conflict where the winning side suffered the most casualties (75,000 more KIA).

The last battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Palmito Ranch, occurred May 12-13 on the border of Texas and Mexico. As a historical note, the Confederate command is considered by most historians to have won the battle. Texas Confederates did not surrender, however, until the end of May, long after news was telegraphed that Lee and Johnston had surrendered and Davis was captured.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...